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DAVID H. SPEICHER AND BEVERLY SPEICHER v. TONY REDA AND DELILAH REDA T/D/B/A DUFFY'S TAVERN AND DONALD H. REYNOLDS (08/28/81)

filed: August 28, 1981.

DAVID H. SPEICHER AND BEVERLY SPEICHER, HIS WIFE, APPELLANTS,
v.
TONY REDA AND DELILAH REDA T/D/B/A DUFFY'S TAVERN AND DONALD H. REYNOLDS



No. 450 Pittsburgh, 1980, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Butler county, Civil Division, at AD No. 77-610 Book 110 Page 210.

COUNSEL

Leonard E. Price, Pittsburgh, submitted a brief on behalf of appellants.

Harry K. McNamee, Butler, for appellees.

Brosky, DiSalle and Shertz, JJ. Shertz, J., concurs in result.

Author: Brosky

[ 290 Pa. Super. Page 169]

Appellants, David Speicher and Beverly Speicher, instituted an action against appellees, Tony Reda and Delilah Reda, trading as Duffy's Tavern, pursuant to 47 Pa.C.S.A. ยง 4-497, which subjects a licensee to liability for serving a "visibly intoxicated" person liquor.*fn1 A compulsory non-suit against appellants was granted at the end of their case at trial. A motion to set aside the non-suit was denied, and this appeal followed. We do not agree with the trial court's analysis and therefore reverse.

On July 2, 1975, at 1:10 a. m., five or ten minutes after leaving Duffy's Tavern, Donald Reynolds was travelling along a highway when his car struck a motorcycle operated by David Speicher. Speicher was severely injured. The policeman who investigated the accident, Officer Beal, described Reynolds as:

Well, upon my interviewing Mr. Reynolds a strong odor of alcoholic beverage was detected. The operator didn't know that he hit anyone, and he had trouble standing. As Mrs. Sloan said, he had slurred speech, a staggering gait.

Mrs. Sloan, a photographer whom the police engaged to take photographs of the accident scene testified:

[ 290 Pa. Super. Page 170]

Um, he was interfering with me taking the photographs. He kept telling me -- he was visibly drunk and kept telling me that I wasn't going to take any pictures of his, quote, "God damn car," unquote, and every time I'd go to take one he would step in front of me staggering wise, and it got to the point -- usually in a situation like this I can work around people, you know, but this one got to the point where I had to go to the police officer and have him remove him while I took the pictures.

Officer Beal also stated:

Q. Okay. And by the way, touching for a minute on what Mrs. Sloan said about requesting cooperation from the police to have Mr. Reynolds stand aside, were you the one she ...


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